Vice President and Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) co-chair Leni Robredo on Tuesday called on the residents of Market 3 in Navotas City—a hotspot in the police’s anti-drug operations—to take part in government efforts in clearing their community of the illegal drug trade.
Robredo made the call during her visit to the community ravaged by a fire just three weeks ago, affecting at least 700 families. The fire was caused by a candle left unattended by a drug dependent in the community already hounded with problems of scarcity of toilets and water supply.
The Vice President made the appeal to the community—given that a crucial pathway there traversed by residents in going to the barangay hall and the school—has been closed due to the police’s anti-drug operations.
“Nung sinaraduhan iyong lagusan, nahirapan ang mga estudyante kasi kailangan pa nilang umikot. At kung mamamasahe, P40 iyon. Pangkain na sana iyon. Kaya kanina, kinausap ko ang PFDA (Philippine Fisheries Development Authority), Chief of Police. Bukas naman silang buksan ulit iyon, pero may mga kailangan tayong gawin,” Robredo said, drawing cheers from the crowd.
“Kailangan po natin paigtingin ang pagsugpo sa problema ng droga sa pamamagitan ng pag-organisa. Hindi lang po ito problema ng pulis, kapital o ng Mayor. Problema po nating lahat ito. Kaya magtutulungan po tayo kasi may mga pribilehiyo tayong hindi nakakamtan dahil sa problema ng ilegal na droga,” Robredo pointed out.
“Kailangan po natin upuan. Pagplanuhan natin. At maki-pag-cooperate tayo. Pagtulungan natin ito, para sa mga anak natin. Okay ba iyon?” Robredo asked.
To which the residents, mostly composed of families with very young children, loudly responded, yes.
VP Robredo gets a warm welcome here in Navotas community located near the fishport. She is here to address community on her new role as co-chair of inter-agency committee on anti-illegal drugs since the community is considered a hotspot for the police’s anti-drug ops @gmanews pic.twitter.com/LctRrmhyE2— Llanesca T. Panti (@llanescajourno) November 19, 2019
Rolly Serna, a community leader of Ahon Laylayan coalition in Market 3 Navotas Fishport Complex, welcomed Robredo’s call and asked the Vice President’s help in community-based rehabilitation of drug dependents and information drive on the ills of drug use.
“Naniniwala po kami na ang Pangalawang Pangulo, dahil napili siya ni Pangulong Duterte na maging co-chair ng ICAD, ay makakatulong sa atin pang mabigyan ng solusyon ang ating problema sa droga,” Serna said.
“Kumpiyansa po kami na magiging pantay-pantay ang pagbibigay ng katarungan at magiging pursigido ang aming komunidad sa pagpuksa ng problema ng droga,” Serna added.
Based on police records, at least 5,700 drug suspects have been killed without facing charges or trial during the police’s anti-drug operations since June 30, 2016.
The said number, however, does not include drug war-related deaths perpetrated by unidentified gunmen. —KG, GMA News